Friday, January 14, 2011

Techno-Rioting and The Loss Of Timid Traditions

The article below caught my attention for a few reasons. The obvious is that it's one more example of the downward spiral in mass social mood across the globe.  In addition, the youths, like in the UK, California, Iran, and Greece, are leading the charge.  Tunisia, a country on the outer layer of THE ONION, is in turmoil.  With all of that said, the most interesting part of the article for me was that these rebelous youths used Facebook as a means to communicate and plan the rioting. A high tech approach to chaos, rebellion, and destruction.  Very interesting.  "I want my MTV!"

"Jobless youths in Tunisia riot using Facebook.  TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — In the cruise ship brochures, Tunisia is a land of endless sandy beaches, warm Mediterranean waters, ancient ruins and welcoming bazaars.  But behind the postcard-perfect facade, legions of jobless youths who see no future are seething under the iron-fisted leadership of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and worried fathers wonder how they will feed their families. Their despair over Tunisia's soaring unemployment and rising food prices has fueled more than three weeks of deadly riots, posing the most significant challenge yet to the 74-year-old leader who grabbed power 23 years ago in a bloodless coup.  And what has helped to break the barrier of fear that kept Tunisian anger bottled up for so long? Social networks like Facebook, which have helped organize protests and fuel online rage across this North African nation. Police have fired repeatedly on protesters. The government says at least 20 people have died in the riots, but unions and witnesses count at least 46 dead, most in violence since Saturday. In the town of Kasserine, site of the bloodiest confrontation, police were reported to have killed a man carrying the coffin of a child.  The revolt that began with an individual protest Dec. 17 has left this moderate Muslim nation's reputation as a symbol of modernity in tatters and highlighted its inability to provide opportunities for its young.  'When a father can no longer feed his children, he loses his place ... and his dignity,' said Selim Ben Hassen, the Paris-based president of the Byrsa citizens movement. 'It's not just a question of money. It's a question of honor.' Ben Hassen credits Facebook for spreading word of the unrest — and bolstering timid citizens to break their traditional code of silence."
Source: Associated Press

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